Here is the growing list of local and international guests joining Doc Edge Festival 2024 in Ōtautahi Christchurch. 
We expect more guests to be added so do come back for an up-to-date guest list periodically.

Alexander Garcia

Supervising Producer
New York Times Op-Docs
A documentary director/producer based in Brooklyn, New York.

She has made films on topics ranging from international investigations to music and culture. She also shaped and produced some of the Times’s marquee digital documentary and interactive projects.

Garcia’s work has been honoured by the Emmy Awards as well as the World Press Photo Awards, the RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Awards and the NPPA Best of Photojournalism and POYi contests. She was formerly a fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard and a visual journalist at The Washington Post. 

Cameron Harland

Chief Executive
Tumu Whakarae
Cameron is the Chief Executive of NZ On Air, responsible for the operational delivery of the public media funding agency.

Cameron has a long and varied career in the screen and entertainment industries including running Park Road Post Production and Stone Street Studios in Wellington. Prior to working at NZ On Air he was involved in advertising, working for Saatchi & Saatchi in London and Wellington and before that Head of Professional Rugby at NZ Rugby.

He is a former Board member of the NZ Film Commission, Te Papa and was Deputy Chair of TVNZ.

Christopher Gebhardt

Co-Founder & President
RandomGood Foundation
Christopher is a leader in using storytelling to drive social impact, applying a strategic framework he developed at his impact agency Stir.

At Participant, he led the creation of digital communities and created impact agencc, Tag, which had clients such as Disney, Intel, American Express, MacArthur Foundation, and Gates Foundation.

He is an Edmund Hillary Fellow and a fellow of the RSA. He teaches at UCLA’s Anderson School and served as Chair of the Ad Council Issue Advisory Board.

Chris Lynch

Journalist | Founder
Chris Lynch Media
Journalist and Broadcaster Chris Lynch has dominated the Christchurch media landscape with breaking and reliable local news.

His background includes reporting for Newstalk ZB and producing for Close Up, a nightly current affairs show. Lynch also produced and presented news on the now-defunct public TV channel TVNZ7 and served as a morning talk host in the Canterbury radio market for nearly nine years.

Throughout his media career, he has won radio and television awards. His trusted journalism brand was further solidified when he received a 100 percent trust news rating from the international accreditation organisation NewsGuard.

Corinne van Egeraat

"I Am the River, The River is Me"
Corinne van Egeraat is an independent filmmaker and producer based in the Netherlands. She is the winner of the 2022 Oscar-qualifying Berlinale Documentary Award for her most recent hybrid documentary Myanmar Diaries (2022).

She has spent over ten years working on Myanmar as well as teaching human rights film there. Her award-winning creative documentary films have been broadcast in over thirty countries and screened at more than four hundred film festivals around the world, premiering at the Berlinale, Venice, IDFA, and Rotterdam.

Devi Khadka

Human Rights Activist and Politician, Nepal
Devi Khadka is leading a quiet resistance. As she travels around Nepal, listening to stories of wartime rape survivors, and creating a unified voice for justice, she knows that she’s poking a hornet’s nest. Nepal’s leaders want to bury the shameful truth of wartime rape. As the only public face of survivors. In 1997, seventeen-year-old Devi, was arrested, accused of being a rebel, tortured, and raped in custody. A civil war had just begun. Rebel leaders revealed her as a rape ‘victim’. Tagged with this shameful taboo, Devi battled depression, social ostracism, joined the rebel frontlines, and rose through the ranks, even serving as a member of the parliament when the war ended.

Emile Guertin

Senior Producer of "Witness"
Al Jazeera English
Based in Al Jazeera’s Malaysia bureau, Emile commissions and oversees 25-minute documentary films from the Asia-Pacific region for the ‘Witness’ strand. He hails from a documentary film-making background as a former producer and director and has an MA from the National Film & Television School in the UK. He has lived in Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam spending over 15 years working across international documentary while based in the Southeast Asia region. Emile currently lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Eric Soulier

Head of Culture, Education & Science
Embassy of France
Trained as a journalist, Eric has been involved in media and cultural cooperation with the French Diplomatic network for more than 25 years with a focus on Asia and the Mediterranean region.

Hajime Yoda

Executive Producer
NHK Enterprises
After working for the Swahili service of Radio Japan, Hajime has spent most of his career in News and Current Affairs and the International Broadcasting divisions.

In the field of co-production, he has worked with broadcasters in China, Singapore, Indonesia and the United States. In 2017, he was co-producer for Stephen Schible film "Ryuichi Sakamoto: CODA”. He has participated in Doc Edge Festival before as well as IDFA Forum, Sheffield Film Festival, Kolkata, Crossing Borders in Den Pasar and many others as a decision maker for documentaries.

Hemal Trivedi

Over a 20 year filmmaking career, Hemal’s work has won one Oscar, three Emmys, and a Peabody. She’s been nominated for eight Emmys, an MTV Movie Award, Cinema Eye Award, and Independent Spirit Awards. Her work has been seen on Netflix, HBO, PBS, and the History Channel and screened at the world’s most prestigious institutions, from Sundance to the United Nations

Jasmin McSweeney

Head of Sales & Acquisitions NZ
Umbrella Entertainment
Jasmin joined Australasian distribution company Umbrella Entertainment as the Head of Sales and Acquisitions for New Zealand in February this year.

She also produces for Sanctuary Pictures, the production arm of Umbrella. Prior to this role, Jasmin was the Head of Marketing at the New Zealand Film Commission for the past decade, responsible for the promotion and marketing of New Zealand films in New Zealand and internationally.

Jason Ishikawa

Senior Executive
Cinetic Media
Jason Ishikawa is a Senior Executive and Co-Head of Sales at Cinetic Media where he oversees worldwide distribution strategies for the company. Since joining in 2015, his responsibilities include working in across Cinetic’s financing, corporate and project consultation, and domestic sales arm for feature narrative and documentary films.

Prior to joining Cinetic, Jason worked at The Film Sales Company where he was the Senior Director of Acquisitions, Financing and Sales. Jason graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and holds a BA in Cinema Studies.

John-Paul Marin

Distil Immersive
John-Paul is a co-founder and director of the independent creative technology studio Distil Immersive. With a career spanning 20 years, his interactive work embodies the worlds of documentary, art, narrative, design, and digital. Inspired by the rich potentiality of these mediums to stir emotions, he has produced immersive experiences that challenge conventional notions of storytelling in both virtual and physical spaces.

Before launching Distil, John-Paul was a digital executive at SBS Television, having led the first national Digital Creative Lab dedicated to experimenting with new forms of storytelling.

Laura Théron

Déléguée Générale
FIFO Tahiti
Laura Théron was born in Tahiti where she grew up admiring the natural beauty and feeding on stories of the Pacific islands. In 2016, she returned to Tahiti and worked in a cultural field to be an ally in the preservation and transmission of the Polynesian identity.

Self-taught in communication and audiovisual, she become a member of the FIFO team in 2021, as communications manager, before being appointed general delegate of the festival in 2023. She also teaches Communication at ISEPP (the catholic university in Tahiti), building strong connections with the future generation of audiovisual professionals.

Laura Yilmaz

Animator, Visual Artist
Laura Emel Yilmaz is an animator and visual artist working across motion design, experimental animation, and interactive media. Her short films have screened at Animafest Zagreb, Ann Arbor Film Festival, DOK Leipzig, and Black Maria Film + Video Fest, where her 2012 experimental documentary Places Other People Have Lived was awarded best animation and toured 70+ locations. Her commercial work has garnered top prizes at the Emmy, Clio, and ADC Awards, and earned a Cristal nomination at the 2022 Annecy Animation Festival. Laura has been a Sundance Institute New Frontier Story Lab fellow, a Stugan indie game accelerator resident, and is the former Programme Director of Animation at Te Herenga Waka / Victoria University of Wellington.

Leo Koziol

Founder, Director
Wairoa Māori Film Festival
Leo Koziol (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Rakaipaaka) is founder and director of the Wairoa Māori Film Festival and Indigenous Editor for Letterboxd Journal. He curates short films for the New Zealand International Film Festival (Ngā Whanaunga Maori Pasifika programme) and was guest programmer for imagineNATIVE in 2022. In 2019, he was presented with the Te Aupounamu Māori in Screen Excellence Award.

Lixin Fan

"Invisible Summit"
Lixin Fan is a documentary filmmaker producer for 25 years whose work span across continents. His 2019 award winning debut film Last Train Home has won at IDFA, Emmy, DGA, DocEdge and other important festivals. Lixin was the representative for Asian Side of the Doc from 2015-2018, working to promote Asian doc makers work and market. He is now the co-founder of Inhope Pictures in Beijing.

Long Xiao

Executive Director
Fresh Pitch China
Long Xiao works as independent documentary producer, co-founder and director of FreshPitch Factual Content Conference, decision maker, programmer and speakers for international documentary festivals and conferences, expert and consultant for Chinese documentary industry.

Matthew Metcalfe

Managing Director, Producer
GFC Films
Matthew Metcalfe is one of New Zealand’s most prominent producers with over twenty years experience. In that time, he has produced over NZD 250 million worth of production, representing seventeen feature films and dramatic TV series, ten tele-features and numerous other TV shows, TVC’s, documentaries and music videos.

Matthew is the founder and Managing Director of GFC Films. Matthew over sees all productions and manages the relationships between GFC Films and the company’s key partners, including Universal Pictures and XYZ Films.

Mehdi Balamissa

Founder, Chief Editor
Film Fest Report
Mehdi is a French Moroccan documentary enthusiast living in Montreal, Canada. Having served as selection committee member for various festivals including RIDM and Fipadoc, Mehdi is also the founder and chief editor of online media Film Fest Report, dedicated to covering independent cinema through the lens of film festivals.

Paul Goldsmith

Member of Parliment NZ
Various portfolio including Media & Communications, Arts & Culture
First elected off the National Party list in 2011, Paul served as the Chair of the Parliamentary Finance and Expenditure Select Committee. Since then, in the Key and English national governments, 2014-17, Paul held a string of key portfolios.

Before entering Parliament, Paul created his own business as a historian and biographer focusing on NZ history and economic development. He has published 10 books, his last were biographies of Alan Gibbs (Serious Fun) and Sir William Gallagher (Legend).

Paul is an enthusiastic pianist and has a broad interest in the arts.

Petr Lom

"I Am the River, The River is Me"
Petr is an award-winning filmmaker whose content is typically focused on human rights and climate change. His films have premiered at Sundance, the Berlinale, Venice, IDFA and Rotterdam, have screened at over 400 festivals around the world, and been distributed and broadcast in over 20 countries.

He received his Ph.D. from Harvard in Political Philosophy and was a professor at the EUI Florence and CEU Budapest before leaving academia to become an independent filmmaker in 2003.

Radoslawas Bardes

Radosława Bardes is a renowned Polish film producer, the managing director and co-owner of ATM Virtual, Europe’s leading virtual production (VP) studio. She is a member of the European Film Academy and the European Producers Club, highlighting her prominent role in the film community connected to technology and virtual production.

Her extensive portfolio includes work on several international co-productions including Infinite Storm with Naomi Watts starring, Murals by Alex Toppaler and Dan Shapiro and over 100 episodes of tv series shot in Poland.

Sally Chesher

Investment & Development Manager | Screen Australia
Sally has a long track record of story development and producing across many genres and platforms. Currently working as an Investment and Development Manager, Documentary for Screen Australia since 2022, she has managed dozens of projects from online short form to feature documentaries to series for various broadcast platforms.

Previous roles include Development Manager and Executive Producer at ABC, lecturer in Script Assessment at AFTRS, external assessor for several funding bodies and freelancer as an independent producer.

Shannon Service

Filmmaker and
Edmund Hillary Fellow
Shannon Service is an investigative reporter and filmmaker whose work has appeared at Toronto, Telluride, and Berlin International Film Festivals. Her feature documentary Ghost Fleet was nominated for a 2020 Emmy Award for Outstanding Cinematography and her companion VR film debuted at Sundance. She was a finalist for DOC NYC’s best new director award and won the Palm Springs Film Festival’s emerging director prize.     Shannon’s reporting awards include an Edward R. Murrow, a National Press Photographers Association award, and a Knight Award for Best Narrative Science Journalism. 

Sharron Ward

Emmy & BAFTA Filmmaker
and Journalist
Sharron is an Emmy, Royal Television Society & BAFTA award-winning filmmaker and investigative journalist. Her feature film Addicted in Afghanistan has premiered at over 30 international film festivals and has won multiple international awards. She has also served on the Juries of the International Emmys, the Amnesty Media and the Jackson Wild Media Awards.

After over 20 years in London, Sharron has returned home to Aotearoa, where she continues to focus on films collaborating with indigenous filmmakers communicating the climate crisis, conservation and helping to save NZ’s endemic wildlife.

Subina Shrestha

Subina Shrestha
Subina Shrestha
Subina is an award-winning, Emmy-nominated journalist and filmmaker. From undercover reporting in Myanmar during cyclone Nargis, to investigating child slavery, and to covering Nepal’s earthquake and its aftermath, Subina has steered major news coverage, often as the only international broadcast journalist on the scene; and told stories of people whose lives have been affected by natural and human-made disasters.

She is also a Nieman fellow 2017, a Global Media fellow 2019, and an Ochberg fellow 2022.

Tal Barda

Director & Producer
Tal Barda Films
Tal Barda is documentary director and producer. Tal is a winner of the Greenhouse film program and SIMA (Global impact media awards), grantee of The Tribeca film fund for her films.Her diverse repertoire of filmographic projects were screened worldwide at international festivals and cinemas around the world. Tal has worked with international broadcasters among them: HBO, ARTE, BBC, CBC, ZDF, IKON, RTS & CANAL PLUS.

Ted Hope

Doc Edge Superhero
Ted’s been a producer for over 70 films; a studio executive for over 60 films. He launched Amazon’s foray into feature film production, leading them to 19 Oscar nominations and 5 wins. As a producer, his films have received 25 Oscar nominations, with 6 wins.

Ted’s memoir ‘Hope for Film’ is a must-read as is the ‘Hope for Film’ newsletter. Ted helped launch the feature film careers of Ang Lee, Nicole Holofcener, Hal Hartley, Michel Gondry and many others. He is the CEO of a start-up streamer, Executive Director of a film society & festival, and a Professor of Practice at 2 universities among many other endeavours.

Vanessa Hope

Award Winning Films
Vanessa Hope is an award-winning producer and director who has produced multiple acclaimed films in China including Berlin International Film Festival selection, Wang Quanan's "The Story Of Ermei" and Cannes Film Festival selection, Chantal Akerman's "Tombee De Nuit Sur Shanghai" part of an omnibus of films, "The State Of The World." She has also produced and directed her own short films, including "China In Three Words" with contemporary Chinese author Yu Hua, an official selection at DOC NYC.

Vanessa is on the advisory board of the Equal Rights Amendment Coalition and the Fund for Women's Equality.

Yulan Chang

CNEX Chinese Doc Forum
Yulan Chang is a passionate advocate for documentary filmmaking. She oversees CCDF, a prominent platform for documentary professionals in the Chinese diaspora.

Previously, Yulan was the Producer of Production and Development at National Geographic, where she was responsible for overseeing original productions in Taiwan and China. Her career with National Geographic and Discovery Asia, established her as a visionary in documentary storytelling. She is deeply committed to supporting emerging talent and promoting the art of documentary filmmaking.

Donate to Doc Edge

Love Doc Edge? We would love your support to bring you the best festival every year and every little bit matters. Select a one off or regular donation below. Thanks from the entire Doc Edge team!